The time of the year is back when the Tampa Bay Lightning roll out the yellow carpet for The Yerrid Foundation and a week of Tampa Bay Fights Cancer events.
In the 10th annual Tampa Bay Fights Cancer Night, the Lightning and The Lightning Foundation will partner with community leader Steve Yerrid and The Yerrid Foundation to help spread the message that courage, strength and love can build bridges to a better tomorrow in the fight against cancer. Concluding Tampa Bay Fights Cancer Week, the centerpiece event involves a match-up between the Lightning and the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, October 29 (7 p.m.). More than 4,000 individuals tied to the cancer community of Tampa Bay will be invited to enjoy the game at the St. Pete Times Forum.
“What a magical night, a true feel-good for everyone that gets involved,” Lightning owner and governor Oren Koules said. “We appreciate Steve Yerrid for bringing this night back into the Times Forum for the 10th straight year and we are pleased to be able to hold this event in conjunction with the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer program for 2009-10.”
“The contributions of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Lightning players have been one thing ---priceless,” Yerrid said. “Children represent the best hope for a better tomorrow. I honestly believe they are the treasures of the world and carry aspirations of what we, right now, couldn’t do today. They understand that we care, and they realize that we are standing behind them.”
To date, more than 32,000 cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, families, doctors, nurses and volunteers have been the guests in the Tampa Bay Fights Cancer Night activities. With the goal of bringing the cause to the forefront of the community’s awareness, The Yerrid Foundation and the Lightning Foundation have teamed up to provide tickets, t-shirts to all participants as well as food vouchers to all children from the organizations.
Special guests at the game will be able to sit on the bench and penalty box for the pregame skate, meet-and-greets with Lightning players, visits to the radio and TV booth and will enjoy other activities on the plaza level. Several lucky guests will also be chosen to kick off the game with, “Let’s Play Hockey.”
Four individuals will also be designated as “Yerrid’s Heroes” for the night. The designation of Yerrid’s Heroes each year go to local standouts in the “cancer” community. Those represented will be an outstanding caregiver, family member, and 2 current patients fighting their personal battle with the disease. These incredible individuals will be recognized in-game and wear a Yerrid’s Heroes Jersey for the night.
For this year’s event, fans will see the return of the familiar yellow Yerrid Foundation t-shirts. Participants in the event will also receive yellow blink lights. Those fans who would like to help support the event will also be able to purchase the recognizable yellow shirts prior to the event for $15 and blink lights for $5. Fans may visit www.tampabaylightning.com
to fill out an order form to purchase a t-shirt or blink light in advance. Fans may also purchase a yellow cup at select concession stands for only $6, good for 2 ice cold Pepsi products while supplies last.
Nine local organizations have been sponsored for the Lightning-Senators game on October 29 including Children’s Cancer Center, Children’s Dream Fund, All Children’s Hospital, Faces of Courage, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Moffitt Cancer Center, Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, 1 Voice and Tampa General Hospital.
In December of 1998, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association announced a joint initiative, Hockey Fights Cancer, to honor those in the hockey community who have struggled, or continue to struggle with cancer. Hockey’s All-Star Kids Program, an extension of Hockey Fights Cancer, was introduced in October 1999 to link the hockey community with the youngest victims of cancer. As a whole, the NHL and contributing partners have raised more than $7 million in support of local cancer research organizations across the league.